End of the World, No … Triple Crown, No

End of the World, No … Triple Crown, No

If you are reading this then you, like me, survived the end of the world talk. So, we have that going for us. What we don't have going for us is a Triple Crown possibility in next month's Belmont Stakes. Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom was valiant in defeat, coming from far back and weaving through traffic before coming up just short in the Preakness stretch to 12-1 shot, Shackleford. It was an exciting race, and an excellent effort by the race favorite, but I must give credit where credit is due. Shackleford was the best horse yesterday and deserved to be the winner.

After going fast to get good early position just behind and to the outside of the early leader, Flashpoint, Shackleford enjoyed the slowing down of the pace from there. As he took over the lead on the far turn, the son of Forestry needed to first hold of the challenge from Astrology on the rail, before the Derby winner made his menacing move on the outside. Animal Kingdom kept coming, but Shackleford proved strong and game, as he held off the Derby winner by a half-length to win racing's Middle Jewel.

Now we have two lightly raced horses, who both ran well in the Derby and the Preakness. On to the Belmont! I hope.
 
I hate to be a Donald Downer here, but I am a little cautious in my enthusiasm to see the Derby winner face off against the Preakness victor in a Belmont Stakes rubber match. Despite both trainers saying the right things and sounding pretty confident about running in the Belmont, I have my doubts. Without the Triple Crown on the line, connections have been reticent of late to bring their charges back in all three legs. If both horses do run it will be good for the Belmont, and great for the sport. We shall see.
 
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In other news …
 
I am now officially excited about 2011 turf racing.
 
First my favorite grass horse of all American runners, Paddy O'Prado, came back yesterday to easily and impressively dominate an over matched bunch in the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes. It was an excellent season debut for the horse I thought was the best turf horse in the country last year as a three-year-old. Unfortunately, Paddy O'Prado came back from the race a little off in one leg, but early reports sound very promising that there is no real damage to the talented grey colt.
 
Across the pond, the one, the only, the incomparable Goldikova is set to make her 2011 debut today in the Prix d'Ispahan. The turf is a little soft, and the distance is a little long today, so the great mare may have her work cut out for her against such top colts as Byword and Dick Turpin, but how can you ever doubt her. Welcome back Goldikova!


Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves on the Board of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

 
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